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Historians/History


  • Teach the History Behind "Emancipation" with the Primary Sources

    by Alan J. Singer

    Antoine Fuqua and Will Smith's "Emancipation" has rediscovered the life of an enslaved man variously called Peter or Gordon, who had been made famous through an 1863 photograph. Here's how history teachers can use the primary records of his life to accompany the film. 


  • Revisiting Kropotkin 180 Years After His Birth

    by Sam Ben-Meir

    The rise of automation and the concurrent squeeze of workers in the name of profit offer an opportunity to revisit the ideas of Russian anarchist Pyotr Kropotkin as a forward-looking critique of power. 


  • How Should Popular Culture Convey History?

    by Walter G. Moss

    A recent plot point in Netflix's "The Crown" was based on a falsification of historical events. Historians who want to influence public knowledge of history need to be able to match the narrative appeal of television with a commitment to telling the truth. 


  • Farewell, Brother Staughton

    by Carl Mirra

    Staughton Lynd was always in the trenches fighting for a better world, and for that he remains a “admirable radical” and, for that matter, a beautiful person.


  • A Hundred Years On, Tutankhamun's Alleged Curse Still Captivates

    by Gill Paul

    The fevered belief that visitors to Tutankhamun's tomb (and their families) were cursed became a media phenomenon in 1922, but popular culture from the Bible to Victorian serial stories and stage plays had already linked mummies and the supernatural. Today, curses persist alongside conspiracy theories to help ease the randomness of tragedy.


  • The Salem Trials Challenge Us to Resist Moral Panic and Suspicion

    by Anna K. Danziger Halperin

    The Salem Witch Trials have been a perennial subject of fascination. A new exhibition challenges us to think about the potent mix of moral panic and social suspicion that drove accusations in Salem as a caution for ourselves today. 


  • Anne Frank's Next Diary Entries

    by Bernice Lerner

    When I was a teenager, I imagined that Anne Frank was at my mother’s 15th birthday party. After all, they were the same age and they were both in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. How did I arrive at such a phantastic conflation?


  • Society and Historical Memory: Six Common Ways People Relate to the Past

    by Andrew Joseph Pegoda

    Although historians are trained to think of the past in particular and disciplined ways, understanding how people en masse understand the past is also vital because these understandings—inaccurate as they often are—are vital and embody important information about their hopes and fears.


  • Collegiality, Interdisciplinarity, and the Historian's Work

    by Elizabeth Stice

    Universities should encourage, and scholars should embrace, opportunities for collegial cooperation that encourage the lowering of the barriers to cross-disciplinary conversations. Both the researcher and the university will benefit.